Picture of Erwin's elephant execution

While natives of this region are all too familiar with this story, visitors are always surprised to hear it, or believe it. The town of Erwin is the only known town in history to have hung an elephant, and her name was Mary.
In 1916, the Sparks Brothers circus came to Kingsport, Tennessee and during a performance on September 11, Mary went mad and crushed circus employee Red Eldridge. The 30-year-old, 5-ton elephant, valued at $8,000, was tried, convincted and sentenced to death.
On September 13, 1916, Murderous Mary, who was said to have killed seven other employees before Eldridge, was hung in front of a crowd estimated at 2,500 people at Clinchfield Railroad Yards.